Show 253, December 23, 2017: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel

Now a joyful preview of Saturday’s festive show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays.

Greatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll get the full briefing from Donato.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach. Russ Bendel explains what’s on the menu.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 62nd year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.® Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Play

Show 253, December 23, 2017: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl

Donato PotoGreatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Headed up by acclaimed L.A. restaurant Providence, Il Pesce Cucina is Eataly’s fish market-inspired restaurant. For more than a decade, the team led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto has worked to elevate the standards of modern American seafood restaurants. At Eataly, Providence highlights the delicious varieties of California’s wild fish in their menus. All of the fresh seafood is responsibly sourced, with a particular focus on wild-caught and raw options that promise to satisfy every taste.

For now tables (including patio seating with prime views of the Hollywood Hills and Century City) are available on a first-come, first-served basis; il Pesce Cucina does not accept reservations. If you’re going to be doing some shopping at Eataly a good tip is put your name in at il Pesce first.

“Providence, a restaurant with two Michelin stars, has defined a new standard of seafood cuisine in America. Led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and co-owner Donato Poto, this signature L.A. restaurant found its roots in the search for sustainable fish, wild caught and of the finest quality. Ingredients are treated with the greatest respect and technique, with the goal of bringing the freshest seafood flavors to your table. Eataly partners with Providence at Il Pesce Cucina because we believe in the same emphasis on ingredients and search for quality.”

We’ll get the full, mouthwatering briefing from Donato.

 

Play

Show 253, December 23, 2017: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Continues…

Donato PotoGreatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Named after the first film screened at The Theatre (now the beautifully restored Ace Theater (built as the flagship for United Artists Theaters) adjacent to the Ace Hotel) in 1927, Best Girl is Downtown Los Angeles’ local haunt featuring rotating, seasonal fare and classic favorites. Best Girl is in partnership with the inimitable Chef Michael Cimarusti and business partner Donato Poto, renowned for championing sustainable seafood and elevating impeccable service in a casual atmosphere.

A multi-nominee for a James Beard Award, Cimarusti’s critically acclaimed restaurants Providence and Connie and Ted’s have earned him two Michelin Stars and international recognition as an industry giant. Cape Seafood and Provisions, his seafaring market, offers sustainable, wild caught fish, prime cuts and grab-and-go dishes. Chef Cimarusti’s menu for Best Girl represents his favorite meals made at home for family and friends — inviting and simple, every dish is expertly crafted, wholly delicious and available every day.

The busy Ace Theater generates a lot of pre-theater dinner business for Best Girl. Donato’s tip is that things are calmer for a leisurely dining experience at 8:00 p.m. and thereafter.

We’ll continue the full briefing from Donato.

Play

December 23: Donato Poto, Russ Bendel, Lawry’s Beef Bowl

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Three: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Four: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Five: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part One
Segment Six: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part Two
Segment Seven: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part One
Segment Eight: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part Two

Now a joyful preview of this Saturday’s festive show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… Keep in mind we’re here with you live every Saturday morning throughout The Holidays.

Greatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. We’ll get the full briefing from Donato.

Our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach. Russ Bendel explains what’s on the menu.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 61st year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.® Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s show!

Donato PotoGreatly respected restaurateur Donato Poto, in partnership with Chef Michael Cimarusti, is responsible for the L.A. fine dining treasure, Providence, as well as the more casual Connie & Ted’s (with restaurateur Craig Nickoloff) in West Hollywood. It’s been a busy few weeks for them as they have launched il Pesce Cucina in Eataly in Westfield Century City as well as Best Girl, a 3-meal-a-day restaurant in The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Headed up by acclaimed L.A. restaurant Providence, Il Pesce Cucina is Eataly’s fish market-inspired restaurant. For more than a decade, the team led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto has worked to elevate the standards of modern American seafood restaurants. At Eataly, Providence highlights the delicious varieties of California’s wild fish in their menus. All of the fresh seafood is responsibly sourced, with a particular focus on wild-caught and raw options that promise to satisfy every taste.

Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis; il Pesce Cucina does not accept reservations.

“Providence, a restaurant with two Michelin stars, has defined a new standard of seafood cuisine in America. Led by Chef Michael Cimarusti and co-owner Donato Poto, this signature L.A. restaurant found its roots in the search for sustainable fish, wild caught and of the finest quality. Ingredients are treated with the greatest respect and technique, with the goal of bringing the freshest seafood flavors to your table. Eataly partners with Providence at Il Pesce Cucina because we believe in the same emphasis on ingredients and search for quality.”

We’ll get the full, mouthwatering briefing from Donato.

Named after the first film screened at The Theatre (now the Ace Theater adjacent to the Ace Hotel) in 1927, Best Girl is Downtown Los Angeles’ local haunt featuring rotating, seasonal fare and classic favorites. Best Girl is in partnership with the inimitable Chef Michael Cimarusti and business partner Donato Poto, renowned for championing sustainable seafood and elevating impeccable service in a casual atmosphere.

A multi-nominee for a James Beard Award, Cimarusti’s critically acclaimed restaurants Providence and Connie and Ted’s have earned him two Michelin Stars and international recognition as an industry giant. Cape Seafood and Provisions, his seafaring market, offers sustainable, wild caught fish, prime cuts and grab-and-go dishes. Chef Cimarusti’s menu for Best Girl represents his favorite meals made at home for family and friends — inviting and simple, every dish is expertly crafted, wholly delicious and available every day.

We’ll continue the full briefing from Donato.

Andrew and William GruelOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, joins us from Park City, Utah where he has just debuted the third Slapfish in Utah. Chef Andrew will share (and explain) some important hospitality business trends he sees for 2018. It’s a challenging time for the restaurant business at all levels from fast casual to fine-dining.

We know restaurateur Russ Bendel from his successful wine country-themed establishments in Orange County, Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills. Now it’s a threesome with the launch of the handsome Olea, already making waves in Newport Beach.

Russ BendelNamed for a genus of trees that flourish in warm and tropical regions, Olea gives Bendel’s award-winning Napa and Sonoma wine country concepts at Vine, in San Clemente, and Ironwood, in Laguna Hills, a European accent with extensive wine selections from Italy, France and Spain.

Chef-Partner Jared Cook has created a menu of modern California cuisine that perfectly complements the “global wine country” approach the Bendel team has taken at Olea.

“It’s great to return to the community where my business partners and I began our careers,” said Bendel, a graduate of The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona who spent nine years at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at Newport Center / Fashion Island before striking out on his own.

“Olea represents the continued progression we have created with our other two wine country-inspired cuisine restaurants,” Bendel said. The restaurant is Bendel’s largest, seating 130 guests, and like the other two locations is open for dinner nightly.

Cook has created new dishes exclusively for Olea, including blue crab baked oysters with champagne tarragon butter); terrine of duck liver, bacon and bourbon; wild-caught Pacific Blue Nose sea bass; herb-roasted prime beef cheek stroganoff with house-made rosemary pappardelle; Pacific Northwest filet mignon with black truffle and blue crab Béarnaise; and seasonal apple and pear cobbler with oatmeal crumble and cardamom ice cream.

Also on the menu at Olea are Vine / Ironwood crowd-pleasers such as Meyer lemon & honey duck wings and jumbo lump blue crab with roasted heirloom beets.

Olea’s interior is Tuscany wine country meets California Cuisine. An eclectic blend of timeless natural backgrounds includes antique French white oak floors, Black Mountain ledge-stone, black walnut millwork complemented with contemporary decorative lighting, and clean soft lines and a warm taupe color palette.

Dining areas are divided with sculptures instead of walls, made from natural tree branches on steel bases that lend privacy. The completely weatherproofed dining patio has a parkway setting with swagger light fixtures and citrus trees and herbs in large planters. Two olea (olive) trees flank the entrance of the restaurant.

A focal point of Olea, which totals 3,647 square feet, is a custom-made captain’s table in the wine room that can seat 10. The captain’s table is surrounded by working wine storage and wine displays, artwork and beautiful lighting fixtures.

Olea is located at The Walk, 2001 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660, by Kéan Coffee.  Reservations are accepted on OpenTable, or by calling 949-287-6807. There is self-parking in a newly-constructed 300-car parking structure adjacent to the restaurant.

Russ Bendel tempts us what’s on the menu.

Road to the Rose Bowl 50 Years of Lawry's Beef BowlLawry’s Beef Bowl is college football’s most celebrated bowl game tradition. Each year since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has honored the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl‐bound team for their gridiron achievements. This is the 61st year of Lawry’s proud association with The Granddaddy of Them All.®

Tradition. College football is steeped in it, and there isn’t any tradition more enduring than “The Granddaddy of All Bowl Games,” the Rose Bowl. For 62 years, Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills has been a vital marketing partner in this tradition with its annual Beef Bowl (staged over 2 nights) serving as the proverbial rite of passage for champion gridiron gladiators in quest of Big Game glory.

This legendary private event (where only Tournament of Roses officials and sports media are granted access) has largely remained a mystery to the public while quietly generating a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes photo ops, stories, anecdotes, and quotes from college football’s most well-known players, coaches and sports commentators.

This year’s unusual Rose Bowl pitting the Oklahoma Sooners against the Georgia Bulldogs is the College Football Playoff Semifinal.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson is our guest. He actually authored the coffee table book on the official history of Lawry’s Beef Bowl, Road to the Rose Bowl: 50 Years of Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Hosts Andy Harris & Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Two: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Three: Restaurateur Donato Poto, il Pesce Cucina and Best Girl Part Two
Segment Four: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel
Segment Five: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part One
Segment Six: Orange County Restaurateur, Russ Bendel, Olea Part Two
Segment Seven: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part One
Segment Eight: Sports Historian Todd Erickson, Lawry’s 62nd Beef Bowl Part Two

Show 165, March 26, 2016: Ted Bassetti, General Manager, Cape Seafood and Provisions

Ted BassettiWhen industry veterans and partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Craig Nickoloff and Donato Poto collaborate on a food venture you expect nothing but the very best. This is the same team that created the uber-successful Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood.

Newly launched from this prominent culinary group is Cape Seafood and Provisions, a sustainable seafood market, on N. Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles.

Cape Seafood and Provisions aims to provide guests with sustainable wild-caught whole fish, and custom filets, in addition to a variety of prepared items including housemade stocks and sauces, and grab-and-go dishes such as chowder and lobster rolls. For those who prefer turf over surf, the shop will also carry natural and USDA Prime steaks and chops from West Coast Prime Meats (Brea, California), which also supplies product to Providence and Connie and Ted’s.

With Cape Seafood and Provisions, we look forward to sourcing the seafood people cook in their homes, and to further educate guests about what types of fish are safe to buy,” says Cimarusti. “If clients can’t find what they want in the shop, I will do my best to procure it within 48 hours,” he adds, provided it aligns with the shop’s sustainable prerequisites.

Cape Seafood and Provisions will offer the freshest seafood available from sustainable fisheries, sourced locally when possible. Daily selections may include sustainably caught whole, filleted, and portioned fish, East and West Coast oysters, live spot prawns, crabs, lobsters (when in season), clams and mussels, scallops, live uni (in season) and cleaned uni in trays, fresh and frozen shrimp and squid, and imported and domestic caviar.

The market will also sell a selection of “under-appreciated” species of fish, most notably California Groundfish such as Chuckleheads, Vermillion Snappers, Sheepshead, and Rock Cod, whose populations have recently been restored through fisheries management and Marine Protected Areas.

General Manager Ted Bassetti reels in all the fresh 411 for us.

 

Play

Show 157, January 30, 2016: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Next a tempting preview of Saturday’s delectable and always healful show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s absolutely a good thing…

The fondly remembered Naugles fast food restaurant chain was founded by Dick Naugle (one of the founders of Del Taco) in 1970 in Southern California with 225 locations prior to merging with Del Taco in 1988. Sadly, Naugles lasted as an independent entity only 7 years after that. It featured an American and a Mexican kitchen. A new business group formed in the last few years has been patiently working on bringing the chain back. This grass roots revival is an incredible comeback story and we’ll meet the architect of it all, Christian Ziebarth.

Since partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. New at Connie and Ted’s is a Weekend New England-style Seafood Brunch with freshly baked in-house breakfast breads and pastries. Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte provides the tasty details.

After launching its first two West Coast locations to huge crowds and an almost never-ending line, The Halal Guys are entering new territory with its upcoming grand opening in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The fast-casual New York concept opened its first West Coast location in Costa Mesa last October, its second location in Long Beach this past January and have plans to bring 50 units throughout Southern California.

Halal Guys local franchisee, Thomas Pham, is our guest. He’ll also talk about his new, soon to launch ice cream concept, Churned. Our regular guest Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel joins us for this interview.

Our favorite purveyor of genuinely useful wine knowledge, Kyle Meyer, the Co-Proprietor of The Wine Exchange, joins us for his monthly tutorial. Kyle will provide a preview of coming attractions in wine for the New Year along with comparative discussions about Bordeaux reds and California Cabernet. He’ll also have some practical tips on properly storing wine after you’ve opened the bottle.

Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa has been one of the toughest reservations in town since its opening. It’s a busy spot. The ambitious bar program there also merits a lot of attention. Vaca has created an enticing by-the-glass program for Sherry. Jerez (Sherry) actually pairs very well with food as the Spanish already know. Vaca’s incredibly knowledgeable Bar Manager, Michael Rooney, joins us for a short course on the joy of appreciating Sherry.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Play

January 30: Naugles Tacos, Connie & Ted’s, The Halal Guys, Wine Exchange, Jason Neroni, Vaca

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Christian Ziebarth and Chef John Smittle, the new Naugles
Segment Three: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Four: Thomas Pham, The Halal Guys (for SoCal) and Churned
Segment Five: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, The Wine Exchange, Tustin
Segment Six: Michael Rooney, Bar Manager, Amar Santana’s Vaca, Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Seven: Michael Rooney, Bar Manager, Amar Santana’s Vaca, Costa Mesa Part Two

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, LAX, Irvine at UCI and, now, Brea, is back as today’s regular Guest Host.

Next a tempting preview of Saturday’s delectable and always healful show and not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re doing it right we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s absolutely a good thing…

The fondly remembered Naugles fast food restaurant chain was founded by Dick Naugle in 1970 in Southern California with 225 locations prior to merging with Del Taco in 1988. Sadly, Naugles lasted only 7 years after that and was absorbed into Del Taco. It featured an American and a Mexican kitchen. A new business group formed in the last few years has been patiently working on bringing the chain back. This grass roots revival is an incredible comeback story and we’ll meet the architect of it all, Christian Ziebarth.

Since partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. New at Connie and Ted’s is a Weekend New England-style Seafood Brunch with freshly baked in-house breakfast breads and pastries. Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte provides the tasty details.

After launching its first two West Coast locations to huge crowds and an almost never-ending line, The Halal Guys are entering new territory with its upcoming grand opening in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The fast-casual New York concept opened its first West Coast location in Costa Mesa last October, its second location in Long Beach this past January and have plans to bring 50 units throughout Southern California.

Halal Guys local franchisee, Thomas Pham, is our guest. He’ll also talk about his new, soon to launch ice cream concept, Churned.

Our favorite purveyor of genuinely useful wine knowledge, Kyle Meyer, the Co-Proprietor of The Wine Exchange, joins us for his monthly tutorial. Kyle will provide a preview of coming attractions in wine for the New Year along with comparative discussions about Bordeaux reds and California Cabernet. He’ll also have some practical tips on properly storing wine after you’ve uncorked the bottle.

For the first time in its 36- year history the newly renovated Rose Café – Restaurant in Venice is now serving dinner under the direction of Chef Jason Neroni and Sprout LA. Chef Jason Neroni is our guest.

Chef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa has been one of the toughest reservations in town since its opening. It’s a busy spot. The ambitious bar program there also merits a lot of attention. Vaca has created an enticing by-the-glass program for Sherry. Jerez (Sherry) actually pairs very well with food as the Spanish already know. Vaca’s incredibly knowledgeable Bar Manager, Michael Rooney, joins us for a short course on the pure joy of appreciating Sherry.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Hombre Nachos at NuaglesThe fondly remembered Naugles fast food restaurant chain was founded by Dick Naugle in 1970 in Southern California with 225 locations prior to merging with Del Taco in 1988. Sadly, Naugles lasted only 7 years on its own after that. It featured an American and a Mexican kitchen. Popular items included the cheese burrito, the bun taco, the combo cup with tortilla chips, the Naugleburger, the Ortega burger and more.

A new business group formed in the last few years has been patiently working on bringing the chain back. The group recently opened a corporate kitchen with plans to expand to more locations. It’s open for service on Weekends.

This effort is not affiliated with Del Taco nor with any other prior owner of the brand. The mission is reviving the original concept with a new company.

In 2014 Gustavo Arellano, the editor of OC Weekly and the author of a highly regarded book on the history of Mexican food in America, recognized the new Naugles as one of his “5 Favorite Restaurants of 2014.”

“So Naugles isn’t technically a restaurant again yet, but the effort by a Naugles fan to bring back the legendary Mexican fast-food chain from the archives of Del Taco is not only a great story, but a delicious one. Are the meals Taco Maria-worthy ? Absolutely not. But they did teach me why people get so crazy over the popups. Go to the next one. Get a simple bean-and-cheese, and you’ll tell me what’s up.” Gustavo Arellano.

This unusual grass roots revival is an incredible comeback story and we’ll meet the architect of it all, Christian Ziebarth.

Matthew de MarteSince partners Chef Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto, and Craig Nickoloff opened Connie and Ted’s in West Hollywood in 2013 they have redefined the concept of a casual seafood dinner house serving premium seafood. New at Connie and Ted’s from Executive Chef Sam Baxter is a Weekend New England-style Seafood Brunch with freshly baked in-house breakfast breads and pastries. It’s served Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Pastry Chef Melissa McFail creates all the breakfast baked goods in-house. Highlights are Biscuit & Butter, Grilled Pullman Bread and Cinnamon Roll with nutmeg, orange zest and cream cheese icing.

A brunch highlight is the Nor’Easter Breakfast Sandwich. It’s Nueske’s bacon, egg, clam strips, Hook’s cheddar, tartar sauce on a housemade English muffin and served with home fried potatoes.

Opening General Manager Matthew De Marte (a 3rd generation restaurant professional) provides all the tasty details.

Halal GuysAfter opening its first two West Coast locations to huge crowds and an almost never-ending line, The Halal Guys are entering new territory with its upcoming grand opening in Koreatown, Los Angeles.

The fast-casual New York concept opened its first West Coast location in Costa Mesa last October, its second location in Long Beach this past January and have plans to bring 50 units throughout Southern California.

Known for its famous white sauce, gyro sandwiches and chicken-and-rice platters, The Halal Guys menu offers a mix of different Middle Eastern dishes. The Halal Guys aim to be different and encourage patrons across America to ditch burgers for something unique.

They pride themselves on only using high-quality products like their chicken. It has never been frozen and is marinated and seasoned overnight, then cooked and chopped on the grill and served directly to the plate to ensure a crave -worthy meal that’s piping hot. The Halal Guys’ mission is to ensure that every customer leaves happy, with a smile on their face and a satisfaction that brings them back again.

Halal Guys local franchisee, Thomas Pham, is our guest.

He’ll also talk about his new, soon to launch ice cream concept, Churned.

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeOur favorite purveyor of genuinely useful wine knowledge, Kyle Meyer, the Co-Proprietor of The Wine Exchange, joins us for his eagerly anticipated monthly tutorial. We’re thirsty…

Kyle will provide a preview of coming attractions in wine for the New Year (think 2014 Pinot Noirs from Oregon) along with the chatter involving comparative discussions about Bordeaux reds and California Cabernet. He’ll also have some practical tips on properly storing wine after you’ve opened the bottle.

“For as long as we have been doing this, there have been comparative discussions about Bordeaux reds and California Cabernet.  A lot of that discourse centers on the fact that they are both essentially made from the same group of varietals.  Inevitably the bantering arrives at which is better, and that becomes a much more parochial argument with those in whichever camp arguing their side.  There is no middle ground.  Folks who like big bold Cabernets and other weighty renditions of Bordeaux varietals as they are made in California will point to Bordeaux and say they are thin.  Those in the Bordeaux camp will point to the ageability and complexity that Bordeaux has historically demonstrated, and call the Cali versions plodding and one dimensional.”

Jason NeroniFor the first time in its 36- year history the newly renovated Rose Café – Restaurant in Venice is now serving dinner under the direction of Chef Jason Neroni and Sprout LA. Chef Jason Neroni is our guest.

Rose Cafe – Restaurant, the long-awaited project from Chef Jason Neroni and Sprout LA, finally reopened its Venice doors this past November after a major overhaul and renovation. The Rose now serves breakfast, lunch, brunch, quick service, and most recently, a nighttime HEARTH menu, with a selection of options available at the bar only.

While still looking to keep the roots of the Rose, the expansion of dinner gives the community an opportunity to experience Neroni’s cuisines, in an even bigger way. The beautiful 120 seat main dining room is set off from bustling market and open kitchens.

All the breads are baked in-house.

Bread Plate from Rose Cafe in VeniceChef Jason Neroni’s Rose Café menu focuses on local Southern California cuisine with an international influence from his world travels. The bakery, helmed by Jacob Fraijo and Christina Hanks (Quince/Cotogna, SF) under the mentorship of Alen Ramos and Carolyn Nugent, celebrates American classics, as well as brings back some of the original Rose bakery classics re-conceptualized with their innovative techniques.

The bar program, from Julian Cox and Nick Meyer is an extension of not only Chef Neroni’s menu, but also of the Venice community. Taking the same approach of the kitchen by utilizing the freshest and most compelling ingredients to feature in the drinks, Meyer and team are also playing with curious ingredients like macadamia nuts, acid phosphate, licorice root, artichoke, and rhubarb. Favorites from the lunch and brunch menus will live on through the dinner menu and you’ll even find some fun dessert cocktails popping up.

As carefully as the culinary team has procured and selected produce and meat purveyors, Wine Director Nathaniel Muñoz has chosen a spectrum of wines from classic regions around the world that express their unique terroir and tradition. Whether you are ready for a classic rosé from Provence or venture into a bottle of Turkish Öküzgözü, the wine should be a delicious part of the culinary journey at The Rose.

Michael RooneyChef Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa has been one of the toughest reservations in town since its opening. It’s a busy spot.

The ambitious bar program there also merits a lot of serious attention. They even create their own vermouth.

Vaca has developed an enticing by-the-glass program for Sherry. Jerez (Sherry) actually pairs very well with food as the Spanish already know. 17 distinctive Jerezes are available by-the-glass at Vaca. The Bar Manager was previously turned on to Sherry as a result of a transformative, 6-course Sherry paired dinner he enjoyed in Spain.

“The wines of the D.O. Jerez (Sherry) are beautiful, expressive wines ranging from bracingly dry, to complex umami, to fruity sweet.”

“They’re touted by Sommeliers around the World as ideal food-pairing wines for their strong acidity, complex palate, and ability to stand up to bold, flavorful dishes.”

Sherry can only come from a specific DO, a designated area in Southern Spain’s Andalucia region.

Vaca’s incredibly knowledgeable Bar Manager, Michael Rooney, joins us for a short course on the joy of appreciating Sherry.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Christian Ziebarth and Chef John Smittle, the new Naugles
Segment Three: Matthew De Marte, General Manager, Connie and Ted’s, West Hollywood
Segment Four: Thomas Pham, The Halal Guys (for SoCal) and Churned
Segment Five: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, The Wine Exchange, Tustin
Segment Six: Michael Rooney, Bar Manager, Amar Santana’s Vaca, Costa Mesa Part One
Segment Seven: Michael Rooney, Bar Manager, Amar Santana’s Vaca, Costa Mesa Part Two

Show 152, December 26, 2015: Chef Andrew Gruel, Co-host & Founder, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur regular Guest Host, Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, was just quoted in a front page New York Times Food Section piece, “Casting a Wider Net – Lesser-known, more sustainable fish are landing on American menus.” The article was written by Jeff Gordinier.

Chef Andrew has discussed this significant trend on the show previously and we’ll revisit it. Chef Andrew explains the Dock to Dish and Sea to Table programs which are somewhat equivalent to CSAs for fresh fish sourced for chefs.

Other prominent chefs including Tom Colicchio and Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie & Ted’s. Good company…

 

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Show 149, December 5, 2015: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes For The Home Kitchen Continues…

Amy and Craig Nickoloff of West Coast Prime MeatsAuthors Craig and Amy Nickoloff continue...

You might say it was primed to happen …! Our friends at West Coast Prime Meats have published the perfect cookbook for the Holidays: West Coast Prime Meats Cooks – Professional Recipes for the Home Kitchen. In the spirit of the Holidays the proceeds benefit two important Veteran’s charities, The Wounded Warrior Project and The Gary Sinise Foundation. $5.00 from the sale of each book goes to the benefiting charities. Given what’s going on in the World these days It’s an appropriate time to remember our veterans.

Some of the top toques from prominent restaurants in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii have graciously contributed the tested recipes including ARC, Bourbon Steak, Connie & Ted’s, il Pastaio, The Musso & Frank Grill, N9NE Steak House, Loteria! Grill, Providence, Temecula Creek Inn, Valentino and Water Grill.

The book includes chef-created recipes for Beef, Burgers, Lamb, Goat, Poultry, Veal and Seafood. There are dozens of genuinely useful tips including instructions on how to debone a Leg of Lamb. The principals of West Coast Prime Meats know meat from years of practical experience and graciously share a lot of handy secrets with the reader.

From the Prologue

“For those nights when you’d rather let someone else do the cooking and clean-up, consider this your guide to some of the best restaurants in Southern California, Nevada, and Hawaii. We are honored to serve them and proud to support them.”

“There is one other group we stand behind : our men and women in the Armed Services. To help them, we will donate 100 percent of the profits from book sales [a guaranteed $5.00 per book] to assist our wounded veterans, through the Wounded Warrior Project and through the Gary Sinise Foundation. We encourage everyone to learn about these two worthy charities.”

West Coast Prime Meats Cooks is available through their website and Amazon.com.

 

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Show 63, March 1, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Fat Tuesday and the craziness of Mardi Gras are next week We’ll tell you where you can get an authentic taste of New Orleans locally. You’ll meet the very hospitable Donato Poto, the co-owner of both Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood and one of the finest, high-end seafood restaurants in the West, Providence. The Oscars are upon us. Mar Yvette, the Lifestyle Reporter for Fox 11 News, talks to us about what’s on the menu for the 2014 Oscars Governor’s Ball at Hollywood & Highland. This is Wolfgang Puck’s (and his teams) 20th year creating the dazzling menu for the Oscars! Also where the stars dine…

Eat LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week kicks off on March 30th. Executive Chef Dean James Max of James Republic in Long Beach is with us to preview his menu. When it comes to elegant, destination resorts they don’t come more highly acclaimed than Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado. Carlton McCoy (an accredited Master Sommelier) is their 29-year old Wine Director. We’ll hear his inspiring story. Chef Jet was a Judge at last Sunday’s Cochon 555 – An Epic Heritage Pork Event at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Jet takes us behind-the-scenes at this eagerly anticipated and highly competitive event that tours the country. Oink…

All of this and lots more incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

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